Candlewood Isle Tax District
Board Meeting Minutes
March 14, 2015
Board Members/Officers Present: David MacGown, President; Jeff Berman, Treasurer; Patrick Johnson, Maintenance; Mike Mocarski, Roads; Gonzalo Santos, Member-at-Large; John Glynn, Marina; Kevin Kovesci, Clerk.
Board Members/Officers Absent: Brian Wargin, Vice President; Vivian Mocarski, Junior Recreation; Tim Larkin, Security.
Public Present: Penny Poole
CALL TO ORDER
President, David MacGown called the meeting to order at 10:10 am.
APPROVAL OF THE FEBRUARY 22nd BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Pat motioned to approve the February 22nd Board Meeting minutes. Mike seconded, and the motion was unanimously passed.
Penny thanked the Board for their efforts on behalf of the community, and commented on how well the Trading Post/Post office building turned out. She reiterated concerns about noise created by contractors who are working on residents’ property. Of particular concern are early morning work hours and weekend work hours. David pointed out that this had been addressed at previous meetings of the Board, and that it will be a topic of discussion at the Annual Meeting. While there is not enough time to present an ordinance restricting contractor hours at the Annual Meeting, the discussion at the Annual Meeting may generate the need to present an Ordinance at next year’s meeting. Kevin will remind residents to be considerate of their neighbors’ right to quiet enjoyment of their property during the morning and weekend hours.
Account Balances as of 2/28/15;
Cash on hand - $349,614.46
Tax collections FY 2014-15 - $433,963.02
Tax Revenue to be collected - $11,457.00
Taxes to be collected from previous years - $56,516.63
General Fund Balance: $242,609.51
Committee Balances as of 2/28/15:
Junior Rec - $68,468.38
Marina – $31,338.85
Tennis - $4,894.70
Adult Rec – $2,201.02
Bocce - $120
Capital Improvements – $68,127.86
Jeff informed the Board that the Auditor who had been preparing the annual audit is retiring. As a result, he has begun the search for a new Auditor. He has received several referrals, and has spoken with all of the candidates. Jeff will complete his review and will propose a candidate to the Board by email in the coming weeks.
Arrears for fiscal year 2014-15 continue to be collected. Residents with arrears for previous years will receive a default letter written by counsel.
Jeff suggested that Deanna of TAD be given the right to transfer funds between accounts. David suggested the Board wait to run the idea past the new Auditor to make certain the idea is prudent. In the meantime, Jeff and Gonzalo will meet with the Manager of People’s so that Jeff has access to transfer funds.
David expressed concerns that despite several attempts to have the Board members prepared to finalize the 2015-16 budget, a final version is not ready for review. The Board members have submitted their individual budgets, however, these numbers have yet to be presented in a completed format. Gonzalo offered suggestions of how to work with his worksheet to finalize the budget.
Jeff asked the Board’s position on what changes needed to be made to the budget in light of the reduced debts service as a result of satisfying the clubhouse loan. David expressed concern that the Community can no longer wait until buildings begin to fall down before scrambling to borrow funds to make necessary repairs. He asserted that the Community had to be more proactive about maintaining the assets of the Tax District, and pointed to the roads as the next asset in dire need of attention.
Mike explained that the last two years of patching and repaving have yielded much success and praise from residents. However, he noted that at the current pace, it would take nearly 40 years to replace the 5.5 miles of roads on the Isle. He indicated that a proper replacement cycle for the roads was more along the lines of 10 years.
It is clear that wholesale repaving of all of the roads at one time is not an option. David explained that the most cost effective means to accomplish is a 10 year solution, which involves dividing the roads into two to types, high traffic and low traffic. High traffic roads will be repaired and paved based on a ten year plan, while low traffic roads will be repaired and chip sealed in the first two years, and will receive asphalt repairs and patching in subsequent years.
Pat motioned, and John seconded to accept the Treasurer’s report. The report was accepted without dissent.
Gonzalo has been copying content from the old website and populating the new website. By the next Board meeting, Gonzalo believed a beta site will be available for the Board to review and provide feedback.
Gonzalo will speak with a contact at Association Voice to learn more about creating newsletters so that Aimee will be prepared when the switch occurs.
Mike motioned, and John seconded to accept the Technology report. The report was accepted without dissent.
Mike reported that he has presented two budgets for review. One is a “status quo” budget where most expenses are kept in line with current expenditures. The second is one where a more aggressive road repair plan is implemented. Both budgets include a $25,000 line item for culvert repair.
Mike informed the Board that the Isle has approximately 630,000 square feet of roads. The current plan replaces 16,000 square feet of roadway per year. At that pace, it would take 40 years to replace the 630,000 feet of roads. Mike suggested that the roads should be completely replaced every 10 years (the life expectancy of asphalt), and suggested that the budget be increased to replace 65,000 square feet per year.
David reiterated from the earlier discussion, that there is a chip and seal component for the less traveled roads which will bring the less traveled roads up to standard until the patch and repave program can be used on them as well.
John moved, and Pat seconded to accept the Roads report. The report was accepted without dissent.
Pat will speak with Deanna about payroll expenses charged to the Waterfront budget.
Pat reported that 11 of the 14 lifeguards will be returning this summer. He will be interviewing 5 more lifeguards in the coming weeks and will have a full staff ready for the season.
David reminded Pat that the Board needs to approve the rates of pay for the lifeguards.
Pat informed the Board that a railing on the beach will be replaced, and the entire railing will be repainted when it gets warmer.
John moved, and Kevin seconded to accept the Lifeguard/Waterfront report. The report was accepted without dissent.
JUNIOR RECREATION REPORT
Vivian presented the following report in advance of the meeting.
Junior Recreation has finished interviewing last summer’s Counsellors in Training who turn 16 before Camp begins.
An email announcing the beginning of Camp registration will be sent to all campers who attended camp last year. Any new residents need to have the new car registration (CI sticker) and must have any CITD tax account current in order to receive the registration email. Any questions regarding either of these issues can be answered by Karen in the CITD office.
Camp registration will be open from April 15th to June 15th. There will not be any new sponsors this year. Campers can only register for 1 week, 4 weeks and 6 weeks of camp.
There was no Security report.
Pat reported that due to several unforeseen circumstances, Maintenance will be over budget by as much as $4,500. Unplanned repairs include a window to the clubhouse, the guard house door, stone work around the clubhouse and the removal of a dead branch on Isle property.
Kevin moved, and John seconded to accept the Maintenance report. The report was accepted without dissent.
MARINA/GOLF CART REPORT
John reported that the new marina application has been completed and will be sent out in the spring packet. The due date for application and payment is now May 15th. The cost for a slip is $500, mooring is $250, and a canoe rack is $125.
The Marina budget being proposed will show more expenses than revenue, primarily a result of expenses associated with major repairs to the docks and anchors. The loss will be taken from the excess assessment income being carried over from last year.
John relayed a message from a resident who expressed concern over the Town of New Fairfield’s recent discussion regarding cutting funding for the Candlewood Lake Authority:
The CLA has always done its best with the budget it gets from the towns. NF contributes roughly 60KTo the CLA. That is the taxes on 3 or 4 lake front homes. The majority of those lake front homes use few town services. The CLA has always fund raised, (dragon boat, silent auctions, grants etc…) to raise money to do more than their budget allows. The CLA is working with area schools in teaching the students hands on science with project CLEAR. Presently there is an effort to defund the CLA and it appear that push is coming from the political leaders of New Fairfield. The CLA is independently audited each year and that audit is provided to the 5 towns. Recently New Fairfield has tried to call into question the budget of the CLA.
The Lake Authority is needed to maintain the health and public safety of Candlewood Lake. The CLA are THE experts regarding water quality and science of preserving Candlewood. They have put into action short and long term plans to assure Candlewood’s health for years to come.
Please take the time to contact the First Selectman of NF, Susan Chapman, and let her know you support the CLA and the work they have done as the sole stewards of Candlewood Lake for over 30 years.
The 2015 Candlewood Golf Classic will be Friday, July 24, at Candlewood Valley Country Club with dinner and entertainment to follow at the Candlewood Knolls Clubhouse.
Mike moved, and Brian seconded to accept the Marina/Golf Cart report. The report was accepted without dissent.
Spring Packet sent by email
Kevin informed the Board that 90 residents have signed up to receive the Spring Packet by email, rather than First Class Mail. To receive the packet by email, residents can complete the form (found in the Post Office) and can deliver it through the CITD office mail slot.
Jim Crawford Letter
Jim Crawford addressed a letter to the Board requesting repairs to the seawall in the right of way adjacent to his house, where previous repairs have been conducted in recent years. The Board will research the matter.
Summer Clubhouse Rentals
The Board reviewed a letter from a resident who was requesting an exception to the policy which prohibits clubhouse rentals to private parties from June 15th to Labor Day. The Board unanimously agreed that the exception could not be granted. David reiterated that any party taking place during the restricted period has to be coordinated with Adult Recreation, and has to be open to all Isle residents.
Board Meetings for 2015-16
The Board agreed to move all Board meetings to the third Sunday of each month for the 2015-16 year.
Board Members seeking re-election
All Board Members that were present expressed their desire to run for re-election at the annual meeting in May. David will appoint a Nominating Committee to present the slate. Penny Poole volunteered to serve on the Nominating Committee.
David adjourned the meeting at 12:15 pm
Kevin Kovesci, Clerk